Sunday, November 23, 2008

What happened to Raj?

Swarna asked !

I had left the story at the night when Ruhi cried about kids teasing her and how I was resolved to sort it out. And there was a PTM on Saturday...

As I got ready to leave for the PTM, I hesitantly took out the 'I love you note' from my laptop bag. I had no clue what I was going to do with it, but I saved it for the impulse.

I walked around her class while the teacher was busy with others, eagerly looking up as the next parent walked in - just had to meet the Raj kid but I could not spot any unfamiliar kid amongst the visitors. Finally, the teacher came to me and I silently handed her the neatly folded paper in my hand.

She looked embarrassed and concerned at the same time and immediately crumpled the paper in her hand. I found out that she and other teachers had known about this for months. Raj's mother had visited her twice to discuss the 'problem'. He had been spoken to 'firmly' by the class teacher and sent twice to the principal's room. Had been given 'warnings' at school and at home. The teachers were making a special effort to separate him from where Ruhi sits in class and the lunch hall. It seemed like a very big issue over there !

I felt a surge of guilt of having it made worse for him. In the background I could hear the teacher advise me to talk to his mother and to encourage Ruhi to 'complain' to the teachers rather than keeping it bottled up to tell mom later. But all I could really hear and feel was enormous sadness. 

This kid had a problem, he was new in class and maybe he was lonely and sad and the soft spoken, kind little Ruhi was the easiest to approach in a class full of cheeky, preposterous kids. 

I have ignored Ruhi's protests about Raj ever since. Each time she complains I tell her to make an effort to 'include' him in their gang. I think she will come along...or maybe not. I've overheard her talk to her cousin yesterday, slyly inviting him to school to fix someone who 'troubles' her...

If you must know what this 'trouble' is - touching her hand, insisting on sitting next to her always, looking at her - as Ritu said in her comment, trying to be included.

I tend to make a big deal of small things, and maybe its unimportant and will pass, but I do know that sometimes small smarts in a 6 year old's life stay for ever, like they've stayed in mine.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lst para is the key preeto... good.

Inexplicably said...

Thanks Hanu. Why do you keep anon ?

~nm said...

I agree with you. I think creating such negativity for such a sweet emotion will do more harm to the kids than any good.

It just needs to be tackled carefully and very gently.

rooo said...

hun, i couldnt come cuz of reasons. will talk about it sometime when i call! :)

How do we know said...

i dont know what to say.. u cld be making Roohi feel inadequate in this pursuit of making Raj feel included and accepted. Even a 6 year old knows "Appropriate" from "inappropriate". personally, i dont think its ur responsibility to make sure he adjusts well in school. thats the teacher's job and his mother's.

What i would worry about is Ruhi feeling not nice abt this attention. I WOULD focus on what she is going thru and validate it. Kids know right from wrong. Just bcs the person pressurising her is another child does not make it any different for her. Would u accept a love note like this from an adult? No, right? Its the same thing, as far as ur daughter is concerned.

sansmerci said...

gosh .. poor guy thts bad treatment at school ..t he teachers shud kno how to reat a 6 year old!

but poor ruhi too i can totally understand how it feels wen a guy forces himself on her.. sittin next her..starin at her n tryin to get friendly.. it has started pretty early in life for her eh ... the fate of attractive girl i say!

Balvinder Singh said...

I thought the story had faded away, but as evident from your post, it has not. Please be careful, you are dealing with tender hearts.

Do we expect to hear something from your memories.

Priya said...

Hi gurpreet,

i didn't want to butt in, but I must second what "how do we know" says. Its not your job to make sure Raj feels accepted. And from what you say, I don't think this is merely a tussle for attention on his part.

More importantly, I would worry that it sends a wrong message to Ruhi. One that says that she must ignore her *own* feelings in favor of someone else's. If she feels uncomfortable with all the attention, I would address that first.

Just my 2 cents. Hope you find a way out of this mess. Life was so much simpler when we were younger.

Priya.

Rinchen said...

Aww.. poor thing! I hope he wasnt in too much trouble because of that :P

Pinku said...

If Raj is new to school possibly the family is new to the locality too.

Couldnt you meet up with his mom and become friends...so that Ruhi could feel less threatened and Raj more accepted?

bombaygirl said...

I agree with Pinku...I think you should set up a playdate with Raj's mother, so that the kids can play and you can see firsthand how he is with her. While he may be a bit subdued under his mother's gaze, you will be able to shape their friendship. I feel for both kids...its hard being a child these days.

Reflections said...

I wrote a post on similar lines on my page & both Balvinderji and Sansmerci supplied me with a link to this page & asked me to read it:-).

So is Raj still in the same class as Ruhi????